For a band who have always possessed a subtle power and defiant streak, ‘Good Woman’ is a particular testament to resilience and the surprising strength found in the wake of heartbreak, motherhood and bone-deep grief.
The record, much like its creator, is resilient and convincing enough to withstand more than a gentle gust – on Planet Pop 2021, anyway.
By the end of the album, the biggest takeaway from ‘Written & Directed’ is of a band able to splash a hell of a lot of colour onto their canvas.
From Zoom calls to Ultraviolence offcuts, on her eighth album the American songwriter takes the long view on her decade as an artist — but she still remains as enigmatic as ever.
‘Take The Sadness Out Of Saturday Night’ is a yearning, lower-case album that stands in the shadow of a shinier caps-lock version.
The record’s expansive soundscape and storytelling deserve several long listens, yet its fresh outlook hints at an exciting future for grime.
‘On All Fours’ doesn’t totally rewrite the book, but there’s a new concision to Goat Girl’s sound, an urgency that stems from personal as well as global upheaval.
What ‘Star-Crossed’ does best is add a tinge of darkness to ‘Golden Hour’, an album that’s now irrevocably changed, awarded a second, shadier life. And in turn, some gold finds its way to Musgraves’ new, post-divorce world.
The Tennessee indie songwriter rewrites the book on her third record, adding drums and embracing turmoil.
For those seeking the manic, mulletted energy of Amyl and the Sniffers’ debut, and something that pokes a little deeper at pub rock, there’s plenty here to satisfy.
‘Super Monster’ slips a doorstop under every pop genre, keeping all ways open.
‘Not Your Muse’ is at once a showcase for Celeste’s singularly gifted and eerie vocals, a retro-modern sonic playground to explore in an unhurried fashion and – on rare occasion – a minefield of generic soul-inspired pop.
On her third album, the American songwriter plunders her past for gutsy, clear-cut tales of teenage love and friendship.
Balfe couldn’t have expected that his album would land in a year where all too many people around the world are trying to pick themselves up after unexpected loss, but it’s a record of great solidarity, proving that memory is so much more than headstones and regrets over things that weren’t said.
‘Ignorance’ ramps up the sonic freedom – but the new album is immaculately thought-out. Lindeman faces the climate change Goliath the best way possible: through a personal lens. She’s never preachy, rarely obvious, her watertight lyrics probably worthy of a Nobel.
Call ‘Pink Noise’ a break-up album if you like, though really, it’s more of a power move: dazzling instead of caustic, triumphant instead of sour.
‘Prioritise Pleasure’ is an ambitious and vibrant testament to women but more importantly, a testament to herself. It’s nothing less than pop perfection.
The album reveals more of itself with each spin, like a shyly flamboyant bird. Little changes make themselves known – choppy jazz, creaking acoustics, the kind of piano confessionals heard in an after-hours bar – and the small-scale hops reflect the album’s gentle yet bold leap forward.
‘Blue Weekend’ is a ballsy idyll of feeling: the sound of a band satisfying themselves rather than proving themselves, and completely filling the space they’ve carved out over the years.